10 Ideas for a DIY Home Renovation

A man and woman painting a wall in their home.

So, you’ve been thinking about the next big home project for your Tamarac, FL, living space. Whether you want to modernize your kitchen plan, add a little more space to one of your rooms, or just need a change in your environment, the ideas for how to renovate a house are as endless as the human imagination. We commend you for taking the leap.

However, at Safeguard Self Storage on West Commercial Boulevard, we also know how easy it is to become overwhelmed with the process. “Analysis paralysis” is only one problem surrounding DIY home remodel ideas, sometimes the issue is you can’t come up with anything at all! And even if you do, where are you supposed to put your belongings while you actually follow through on your renovation plan? It can be a lot.

If you’re not sure to start, Safeguard can help you learn how to plan a Tamarac home renovation, as well as what you can do to create a little more space during the process.

DIY Home Remodel Ideas in Tamarac, FL

Organized home remodeling in Tamarac can be as simple or as complicated as you want. Let’s walk through some of your options.

Painting

Painting is nice because it doesn’t (usually) involve the need to break or move any fixed objects/walls. Depending on the type of wall or age of the house, the exact process may differ, but providing a new coat of paint to a room is a relatively quick and affordable means to an upgraded home.

Light it Up

An unseen man screwing in a light bulb.

The power of natural light should not be underestimated in DIY home remodeling. Natural light has a tremendous positive effect on your mood levels, so if you find your home has you feeling down, consider installing a couple windows.

If natural light isn’t an option, then bright artificial light is a satisfactory replacement, especially if the room is really dim or dark. In those circumstances, any extra light will make things feel a lot more welcoming and homey.

Develop an Open Floor Plan 

Developing an open floor plan may require some…“tactical” destruction. Open floor plans are trendy and spacious, but may require knocking down some walls and doorways. Fortunately, once you finish, the market value of your Tamarac home will likely increase, and you’ll have a comfortable, wide-open space to greet you when you come home.

Install a Bar in the Basement 

If your basement (or similar space) is suffering from a lack of distinct character, try installing a bar or café. It’s amazing what some nice tile, glasses, and bottles can do to give your DIY home remodeling an air of novelty. It also makes for a natural home base if you ever want to host a party or sport-watching event. You’ve got to put those tailgating snacks somewhere, right?

Transform the Attic 

For many people in Tamarac, the attic is relegated to the default storage space for seasonal belongings, old memorabilia, and other stuff you don’t need around at all times. However, if you find a new space for those things (such as a small self-storage unit), you can take what’s left of the attic and change it into a room of its own! It will probably take a lot of cleaning, repair, and installing new items, but with some work, this could become an intriguing reprieve from your other living spaces, or even transform into a child’s bedroom.

Say Goodbye to Carpet

A man tearing up old carpet in his home.

Carpet can look good, but it’s not as favorable in households as it once was, especially not if it’s everywhere. A relatively simple way to add a new feel to a room is to say goodbye to the carpet, and replace it with wood or vinyl flooring that matches the feel of the space.

Alternatively, if you aren’t satisfied with the flooring in your kitchen, you could take the less affordable but really pleasing route of laying down a nice tile. This one change can completely alter the way you feel while in the kitchen, which is important since you probably spend a lot of time there.

New Appliances 

This one is pretty simple. Out with the old, in with the new. Upgrade your refrigerator, washing machine, or entertainment center. Sometimes that’s all you need.

Bring in the Backsplash 

The thing about a backsplash is that it can look like basically anything. They come in any color or design you can think of, so all it comes down to is finding one that you want and having it installed. This, especially in combination with the tile floor suggestion, can make your kitchen look like an entirely new room. Perfect for an advanced organized home remodeling.

Remix Your Shower 

It’s a little thing, but swapping out a shower curtain for a door, installing a seat, or changing the showerhead, can turn your shower experience from something mundane into something fresh. The simple act of changing curtains or towels can help a little if you’re on a really tight budget.

Level Up Your Garage 

If you find yourself spending several hours a week in your garage, it wouldn’t hurt to outfit it with things to make it look and function easier. Organization shelves and panels, a skylight, and many other options exist for expanding or developing your garage space into a DIY home remodel more appealing in both the short and the long term.

Decluttering for a Renovation with Safeguard Self Storage

How do you plan a home renovation when there’s nowhere to put all the stuff currently residing in your home? Unless you’re willing to leave a bunch of stuff in the yard for a couple weeks, we assure you, there’s a much better option: a self storage unit in Tamarac, FL.

Safeguard Self Storage wants to help your renovation get off the ground by providing our versatile and affordable storage unit choices for your consideration. Our Tamarac self storage facility offers a wide range of storage unit sizes, features, and specials to help you create space for your DIY home renovation.

New to renting storage? No worries, we have your back. Dive into our storage tips for the fundamentals, so you can feel confident in starting up your Tamarac self storage journey today.

Tips for Planning a Spring Trip in Bradenton, FL

A beach in Bradenton, FL, at sunrise.

Donning a modest population of around 55,000, and couched between fresh and saltwater, Bradenton, Florida is an ideal setting for people who enjoy living with a nice blend of urban fun and outdoor appeal. If you have downtown Bradenton on your horizon, or you’re considering making this idyllic city your next big move, it’s understandable that you’d want to know what it has to offer before taking the plunge.

Safeguard Self Storage has spent some time in Bradenton, where we’ve helped many people de-stress their lives through all sorts of events with our self storage units, so we have a handy primer to help you determine if this slice of Manatee County is where you should call home.

Things to do in Bradenton, FL

There are as many things to do in Bradenton, FL, as there are people who live there. This is especially true in the Spring, when the weather is nice and events are happening everywhere.

Food & Drink

 Depending on your taste palette and how privy you are to alcoholic beverages, your mileage, of course, may vary. That said, you’ll find no shortage of options as you explore Bradenton. Here are a few of our favorites.

Add some spice to your life with the Thai Palace. From golden brown rangoons to their delicious curry varieties, you are absolutely spoiled for choice.

If you want something with an engaging view, give Riverhouse Waterfront Restaurant a try. Their seafood and Americana are some of the best offerings in the city.

Of course, for a different kind of experience, hop over to Motorworks Brewing for good beers, good games, and trees decorated in ambient lights.

Outdoors

Things to do in Bradenton, FL, are not limited to food. So you had a bite to eat and now need to get your steps in for the day. Where do you go next?

 For a clear and direct path, try Bradenton Riverwalk. Meandering around the Manatee River, this dog-friendly path is a local favorite for walking or biking. Also, nice shade to escape the sun for a while! If you find a spot you like, you can even throw down a spot for a picnic or grab food from a nearby diner.

If your interests lie more in the beauties of flora, swing over to Palma Sola Botanical Park, and let nature enfold you. Visitors are invited to wander the entirety of its 10 acres, where you’ll share company with butterflies, birds, and plants of all shapes and sizes.

Our personal favorite Bradenton outdoor experience is the TreeUmph Adventure Course. Embrace treetop transportation and zip, climb, or scale your way across a variety of bridges, zip lines, bridges, and more! The heights might not be for the faint of heart, but if you want something with a little more thrill than your average day out, TreeUmph will give it to you in spades.

Of course, you can always take a day on the water, as well. Sailing, scuba diving, swimming, you name it! Throw on a swimsuit and go for a dip.

Downtown Bradenton

Downtown Bradenton plays host to many of the things we’ve mentioned so far, but also much more! It’s worth taking a moment to address some of the other novelties and forms of entertainment you can find in the city.

For the performing arts, look no further than McCurdy’s Comedy Theatre, Asolo Repertory Theatre, or the Manatee Performing Arts Center for your fill of good laughs, intriguing plays, and live music of various styles.

Go bowling at Bowlero Bradenton, explore science and history at The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature or Manatee Village Historical Park, and challenge your mind with the Mysterium Escape Rooms & VR.

No matter what kind of entertainment you enjoy, chances are you’ll find it here.

Reliable Storage for Those Moving to Downtown Bradenton

Are you changing jobs? Moving closer to family? Maybe you want to move away from a huge city without sacrificing the benefits of a modern urban lifestyle, so you’re downsizing to something more modest.

Whatever your reason for moving, Safeguard is happy for you and here to help.

Our Bradenton storage facility on Royal Palm Drive covers an expansive array of options and features to accommodate the widest range of needs possible, from multiple unit sizes to climate control, vehicle storage, digital access, and more. Take a look at our facility size guide so you can get an idea for the exact dimensions of each unit type, planning your space and budget accordingly.

Should you need any support, don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our professionals. They’re happy to answer any questions you may have. Rent your Bradenton self storage unit online today!

 

Your Essential Guide to Moving to New Orleans

A view of Bourbon Street at night in New Orleans, LA.

“The Big Easy”, “Crescent City”, “The Birthplace of Jazz”...no matter what famous nickname you know it by, New Orleans is a sight to behold, full of rich history and culture. From partying on Bourbon Street to biting into beignets in Uptown, New Orleans is an exciting place to move to.

If you plan to move to NOLA, we’ve got you covered; discover everything you need to know about New Orleans! Before you transition to life in Louisiana, dive into our essential guide for moving to New Orleans.

Looking for a place to keep your belongings during your transition? Stop by Safeguard Self Storage on Erato Street.

The History of New Orleans

 Prior to the 18th century, the indigenous group known as the Chitimacha lived on the land now known as New Orleans. In 1718, the French explorer Bienville founded the settlement of “Nouvelle-Orléans,” named after Prince Regent of France Prince Philip II, Duke of New Orleans.

In the centuries following its settlement, New Orleans has tied various cultures into the fabric of the city, including French, African, and American. One of its most iconic cultural contributions is Mardi Gras. Inspired by the French holiday of “Boeuf Gras,” Mardi Gras has become the biggest Carnival celebration held in the United States each year.

In addition to Mardi Gras, New Orleans birthed one of the most iconic music genres in history: jazz. Dubbed the “the first man of jazz,” Buddy Bolden, an African-American bandleader, was the first pioneer of the swinging, lively music style that we know today.

Living in New Orleans

 From humble beginnings now exists a city teeming with music, culture, and fun: New Orleans! Life in the Big Easy is truly unique, especially if you’re a transplant from the North. Unlike its more northern neighbors, for example, New Orleans has a warm, humid climate throughout the year—no snow to worry about!

Speaking of snow, however, you may also find yourself learning a few new phrases when you move to town. A “snowball” in New Orleans isn’t a snowball at all; it’s shaved ice!

Outside of adjusting to a new climate or culture, however, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with several details about your new home. If you have kids to put in school, you’re opening a small business, or you’re still trying to decide which neighborhood is right for you, learn more below.

Cost of Living in New Orleans

Floating at around 96, New Orleans’ overall cost of living is slightly more affordable than the national average of 100. Other costs of living factors to consider are:

  • Groceries: 99.2
  • Health: 85.2
  • Housing: 77.2
  • Utilities: 87.3
  • Transportation: 132.5

 As you can probably guess, transportation is the most expensive aspect of living in New Orleans. When choosing a place to live, consider the distance from your home to your place of work. While walking distance isn’t always an option, keeping your commute shorter can help you save money on gas or fare for public transit.

Best NOLA Neighborhoods

A white house surrounded by a wrought iron fence in New Orleans.

 We can’t talk about the best neighborhoods in New Orleans without mentioning the French Quarter! Known for its unbeatable bars, music venues, and stellar dining, the French Quarter is the pinnacle of NOLA culture. Enjoy a cup of café au lait at Café du Monde or celebrate your move on Bourbon Street!

Head a little farther south into town, and you’ll find the charming neighborhood of the Garden District. From historical homes and beautiful gardens to cafés and restaurants along Magazine Street, the Garden District is perfect for young professionals, retirees, and everyone in between. Other excellent neighborhoods in New Orleans include:

New Orleans Education

 New Orleans’ public school district is NOLA Public Schools. The school district offers both early childhood development programs and K-12 education. If you’re moving to New Orleans with kids, reach out to NOLA-PS prior to your move! The district operates several family resource centers designed to assist families enrolling in New Orleans.

NOLA’s Major Industries

 Just like its culture, New Orleans’ economy is diverse; as a city nestled between the Mississippi River and Chandeleur Sound, New Orleans is home to one of the world’s largest ports for international trade. Other major business industries in New Orleans include energy, manufacturing, healthcare, and of course, tourism.

Things to Do in New Orleans

A home in New Orleans decorated for Madrdi Gras with purple, green, and yellow decorations.

 You’ll never worry about a shortage of things to do in New Orleans. One of the biggest activities is obviously Mardi Gras, which occurs 47 days before Easter each year. Any other time of year, you can jump into the celebrations at a festival, explore iconic landmarks, or discover the city after dark on Bourbon Street. Other must-visit attractions in New Orleans include:

  • Audubon Aquarium of the Americas
  • The National WWII Museum
  • Mardi Gras World
  • Buckner Mansion
  • The McKenna Museum of African-American Art
  • Southern Food and Beverage Museum & Museum of the American Cocktail

Prep for Your New Orleans Move with Self Storage

 Now that you have a better understanding of the city itself, learn how to prepare for your move to New Orleans with self storage. If you’re in temporary housing until you find the right home, or you’re moving all your belongings on short notice, self storage creates the additional space you need during a move.

At Safeguard Self Storage, we offer a wide range of self storage unit sizes and features on a month-to-month basis. Rent a 5x5 unit to store those winter clothes (just in case!) or grab a 10x20 unit to keep all your belongings.

Move to the Big Easy with Safeguard Self Storage

 New Orleans is ready to welcome you home—and Safeguard Self Storage can help make your move to the Big Easy easier! We offer air-conditioned, heated, and humidity-controlled units and facility access seven days a week. Need more boxes or packing tape? No problem. We also have boxes and supplies available for purchase on-site. Other features and amenities at our Erato Street self storage facility include:

  • Drive-in loading area
  • Bluetooth security access
  • Individual door alarms
  • Delivery acceptance
  • Digital video recording

Create more space in New Orleans with Safeguard Self Storage. Explore our space estimator to choose the right unit, or rent from our facility on Erato Street today

7 Reasons Why Clearwater, FL, is a Good Place to Retire

A smiling retiree driving his golf cart in Clearwater, FL.

Teeming with beauty and class, Clearwater, FL, boasts one of the best reputations for upcoming retirees, on the merits of its enchanting sand beaches, water-bound attractions, and impressive cost of living (especially regarding living arrangements) compared to the national average.

From the inquiring snowbird looking for their winter getaway to the dedicated retiree that wants to spend their golden years in a mild climate, there are many reasons Clearwater, FL, is a good place to live.

That’s why Safeguard Self Storage’s Clearwater, FL, team has done the work for you, compiling a quick list of all the things we like about Clearwater. Discover why we think you’ll like them, too! 

1. The Climate

 Never swinging too hot, nor too cold, the temperature in Clearwater, FL, sees relatively mild seasonal changes throughout the year, making it a great place to escape to during the golden years when extreme weather feels like too much of a hassle. At an average high of 90 degrees (Fahrenheit) in the summer and an average low of 53 degrees in the winter, an escape to Clearwater means an escape from more-northern states’ brutal weather.

2. A Wide Range of Things to Do

 True to its name, one of Clearwater’s most pronounced features is its proximity to the coast. From dolphin tours and day cruises to sea sailing and sunset vistas, the majesty of the ocean is readily available for the residents of Clearwater to enjoy.

Other things to do in Clearwater, FL, include a robust restaurant scene, breweries and pubs, theaters, and catching a game at Spectrum Field, among other interests! Things to do in Clearwater, FL, include:

3. Ideal Real Estate Scene for Retirees

 As any inquiring person is likely to notice, the most popular housing design option in Clearwater is that of the single-story home. It’s not the only option, however, as the city is host to a variety of housing types to suit your needs, with the style and amenities liable to change depending on where you want to be located (for example, you’re less likely to have a yard if you choose to live downtown, rather than in the suburbs).

4. Affordable Cost of Living

The cost of living in Clearwater, FL, sits at 5.4% less than the national average. More specific items within the cost of living include a $10.00/hr minimum wage, an impressive housing market (couching at 18.8% lower than average), and exceptional healthcare coverage at 20.4% lower than average.

5. Perfect for Day Trips to Miami

By car, Clearwater, FL, is 286 miles from Miami. If you’re ever looking for an escape from home, or a more robust Florida city experience, the beaches of Miami are only a few hours away. Just don’t forget to pack sunscreen!

6. Manageable Community Size

Clearwater, FL, had just over 117,000 residents in 2020, with 22.5% documented as being 65 years or older. From these two details, we can draw a lot of positive information about why Clearwater is ideal for retirement. At 117,000, it manages to be large enough that it possesses a lot of the positive qualities of a city, without feeling like it’s ever-bustling or packed the way that larger, more explosive urban populations do.

So, you can be just as busy or involved in the city as you want to be without feeling like it’s ever too much. Plus, with a strong demographic of retiree-age individuals, there are plenty of opportunities to meet others with similar life circumstances.

7. A Wide Range of Retirement Community Options

 The sky's the limit in Clearwater, FL, when it comes to retirement community options! Pick the neighborhood you enjoy the most, or the place with your favorite view of the sunset, and start searching. Additionally, the features that matter to you will dictate the Clearwater retirement community that’s right for you. Some common retirement home features and amenities to consider in Clearwater, FL, include:

  • Surgical recovery
  • Physical therapy
  • Transportation options
  • Medication
  • Laundry
  • Outdoor entertainment spaces

Is Clearwater, FL, a Good Place to Live?

 It’s up to each individual to decide if Clearwater, FL, is a good place for them to live, but there’s no doubt the city makes a compelling argument for those who want a beautiful, affordable frontier for their golden years. If you decide Clearwater checks all the marks, the next step is to start planning your move.

Rent Your Clearwater, FL, Self Storage Unit Today

 Amidst the hustle and bustle of organizing your moving plans and packing up your home, you’ll need more storage room for your belongings. At Safeguard Self Storage, we offer a wide range of self storage unit sizes and features at affordable rates.

Visit our Clearwater facility, located off U.S. Highway 19 N, give us a call with any questions you may have, or rent your unit online. We can’t wait to help you get along with the next stage in your life!

Your Essential Guide to the Holidays in Chicago

A Christmas tree display in Chicago, IL.

The holidays are upon us, and there’s no place to spend time with family and friends like Chicago, IL. From amazing shopping experiences to jaw-dropping lights displays, you can always find something festive to do in the Windy City. Whether you've celebrated in Chicago before or you're new in town, the possibilities are endless when it comes to creating your Chicago Christmas itinerary.

Finding festive things to do around Chicago can make the holiday season feel hectic, but there’s no need to fret—we’ve rounded up a selection of fun ideas to keep you and your loved ones busy until the new year!

Holiday Lights in Chicago

 

Beautiful lights displays are quintessential to Chicago’s holiday season. In fact, Chicago residents take so much pride in their lighting skills that local news channel ABC7 hosts the Great Chicago Light Fight. Homeowners throughout Chicagoland submit their takes on twinkling holiday lights each year in hopes of winning the competition. In addition to cruising around Skokie, Jefferson Park, and other Chicago neighborhoods to enjoy homemade light shows, you can find several public displays across the city.

City of Chicago Christmas Tree

 

What better way to celebrate Christmas than viewing a 51-foot Christmas tree decked in lights? Chicago’s official tree can be spotted in Millennium Park during the holiday season into early January. In addition to getting you in the holiday spirit, the tree display is a great photo opportunity for you and your loved ones.

Lincoln Park Zoo

 

Hosted at Lincoln Park Zoo, ZooLights offers an entire experience with great food, drinks, and lights. Until January 2, 2022, you can discover the magic of the lights throughout the zoo and additional events held during December. Lincoln Park Zoo also offers free admission on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Chicago Botanic Garden

 

Lights are fun to look at, but they are even better in an immersive environment. Lightscape transforms the beautiful Chicago Botanic Garden into a bright wonderland. Once the sun sets, take a relaxing walk with your loved ones down this remarkable light path you will never forget. This event lasts until January 2, 2022, so grab your tickets soon.

Ice Skating in Chicago

 

Are you truly in the holiday spirit if you don't take a spin around an ice skating rink? Whether you are a pro or need to stay close to the wall, ice skating is a great way to have fun during the holidays. Experience the best rinks in the country, conveniently located in well-known Millennium Park. 

McCormick Tribune Ice Rink

 

Through March, you can show off your ice skating skills at McCormick Tribune Ice Rink. First opened in 2001, the rink is nestled next to The Bean, and features free admission. Don’t have your own ice skates? Rentals cost $13 - $15. 

Maggie Daley Park Skating Ribbon

 

Maggie Daley Park Skating Ribbon allows you to glide through an immersive Van Gogh light experience. On the ice, you can appreciate the beauty of Van Gogh inspired designs on a rink that loops through the park.

Chicago Holiday Events

 

Aside from extraordinary lights and amazing ice skating opportunities, you can still find even more events around the city to make yourself feel jolly. Delicious foods, tours, and shopping experiences await if you know where to look for them! Bundle up and discover other holiday activities that Chicago has to offer.

Christkindlmarket

 

Chicago residents and visitors alike love visiting the German Christmas Market, Christkindlmarket. Explore German-inspired food, drinks, gifts, and activities at this free event’s two convenient locations: Wrigleyville and Downtown Chicago. 

Holiday Tours

 

A holiday tour gives you the chance to bundle a variety of Chicago sights and experiences. Whether you prefer a flight of brownie or beer samples or a dazzling holiday light tour, you have countless options available.

Shopping in Chicago

 

Make shopping an event for yourself or with others by going to the Magnificent Mile (also known as N. Michigan Avenue). Perfect for window shopping or last minute gifts, the area also features the annual Magnificent Mile Lights Festival.

Indoor Activities You’ll Love in Chicago

 

Ready to escape the cold? Take advantage of the varying indoor activities offered around the city. Indoor events are perfect for spending time with family and friends for the holidays without cold, runny noses, bulky winter coats, and braving the snow and wind. Learn more about fun indoor activities in Chicago below!

Purchase Tickets to the Theater

 

There is no better way to cozy up than attending an impressive theater performance. Catch a production of The Nutcracker, A Christmas Carol, and other holiday shows in Chicagoland!

 

Museum of Science and Industry

 

Learn about holiday traditions from around the world at The Museum of Science and Industry’s Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light event. You can even grab a photo with Santa!

 

Swing by Winter Wonderfest on Navy Pier

 

Located on Navy Pier, Winter Wonderfest for all the best indoor attractions. This family-friendly event will be sure to keep you entertained with an indoor ice skating rink and the famous Centennial Wheel.

Create Room for the Holidays with Safeguard Self Storage

 

As you make a list of all the things you plan to do this holiday season (and check it twice), allow Safeguard Self Storage to take a load off your holiday schedule. If you need a place to store gifts, ice skates, or other festive belongings to keep your Chicago home uncluttered, visit our brand-new Edison Park self storage facility.

We offer a variety of unit sizes and features to help you create space during and after the holiday season. Explore our available units and rent or reserve your Chicago self storage solution today!

4 Reasons You Should Start Shopping for the Holidays Now

A woman holding gifts while holiday shopping.

The holidays will not sneak up on you this year like they have in years past. Being prepared makes the entire season so much more enjoyable. But how soon is too soon to start your holiday shopping? This year, we’re challenging you to ignore the calendar and take advantage of the benefits of starting the holiday season early.

 

Find out why shopping for holiday gifts sooner will support your budget and your plans of where to buy the gifts. We’ll help you discover how to save your sanity by shopping early and why it’s crucial to have plenty of space to wrap your gifts.

 

1. Budgets and Early Holiday Shopping Go Hand in Hand

 

The start of the holiday season used to kick off with Black Friday. Today, retailers online and in stores are offering price rollbacks earlier than ever. It's a budget-friendly trend that stretches your family’s hard-earned dollars.

 

By starting your holiday shopping now, you’ll probably find a little cushion in your gift budget. A few dollars saved here and there quickly adds up to extras in Christmas stockings or the ability to spoil one of your family members or friends.

 

Taking advantage of pre-holiday sales also heads off last-minute shopping snafus. Price hikes, long lines, and overnight sell-outs won’t ruin your best-laid gift-giving plans. Your wallet will love the savings, and you’ll have the satisfaction of checking things off that gift list.

 

2. Finding and Shipping Holiday Presents is Easier

 

The perfect gift might be out there, but a lot of retailers and shoppers this year will experience shipping and availability delays due to supply chain issues. Avoid the disappointment of being unable to deliver the gift your niece or nephew have been talking about for months by choosing to shop sooner. You’ll have plenty of time to have the gift shipped to you or decide on an alternative, and you don't have to wear out the sidewalks or your keyboard looking.

 

Early shopping online offers the luxury of generous shipping availability and delivery dates, too. The days of tracking your FedEx or UPS shipment on Christmas Eve will be no more. Not happy with that perfect gift? You'll still have time to arrange an exchange or refund. Pre-holiday purchases streamline the present-buying process better than Santa's elves.

 

3. Early Christmas Shopping Saves Your Sanity

 

Early holiday shopping liberates you from the traditional mad December dash. Before you sprint through a shopping mall, imagine relaxing the last few weeks before Christmas and saving your sanity with these cheerful ideas:

 

  • Spend more time with your family on Black Friday instead of fighting for deals and steals.
  • Hang holly, stuff stockings, and decorate the tree at your own pace.
  • Fine-tune holiday party plans for friends and family.
  • Binge-watch all your favorite Christmas shows and movies.
  • Turn some of that pre-holiday spare time into volunteer work with a favorite charity.
  • Bake some festive treats and pass them out to your neighbors.
  • Perfect your gift-wrapping skills.

 

4. You Have Space to Set Up Your Own Santa’s Workshop

 

Buying presents before the holidays lets you set up a very secret Santa workshop. We recommend utilizing a storage unit during this time of year to help keep gifts secret and to give you plenty of room to wrap those gifts. 

 

To get started, move a small table and chair into your self storage unit. Folding tables and chairs are inexpensive options that can fit easily into most cars for easy transportation. When you move your table and chair, don’t forget to bring a stash of tape, ribbon, wrapping paper, gift bags, tissue paper, name tags, and more. Now that you have plenty of space, you can wrap up the holidays at your leisure.

 

Utilizing secure self storage also keeps the Christmas gift stash out of sight. This means your home closets will remain uncluttered and ready for holiday guests. Plus, your curious kids will never be able to take an early peek at their gifts if you keep them stored in a storage unit.

 

If you don't already have a storage unit, it's a wise strategy for getting organized now and staying that way into the New Year. Plus, after the holidays, you’ll already have space rented to pack all your festive decor. 

 

Let Safeguard Help with the Extras

 

Save your sanity, your budget, and your gift-giving plans this season and start to shop for the holidays now! And when you need that additional space for storing gifts or decor, Safeguard has multiple locations just around the corner. We always have room for all the extras that come with celebrating the holidays. Find a storage unit near you in three easy steps and rent your unit today!

How to Store Your Summer Clothes for Winter in Chicago

A couple packing their clothes for winter.

Chicago is amazing in the fall. From Oktoberfest and haunted tours to seasonal events at Brookfield Zoo, there's no better place to enjoy the gorgeousness of autumn than the Windy City. You'll need to make room for those cozy sweaters and warm jackets, though. Learn how to store clothes properly as we transition from steamy summer weather to the cooler months.

You'll learn how to prepare your clothes for winter storage. We'll walk you through the dos and don'ts of packing your clothes for storage to keep pests away, to avoid mold, and preserve your clothes’ original condition. We've also outlined tips for proper summer clothing storage.

Why Knowing How to Store Clothes for Each Season Matters

 

Knowing how to pack clothes for storage helps preserve your wardrobe and make seasonal transitions easier. Packing your garments with care also helps prevent pests and ensures your clothes retain their original shape. Incorrectly placing them in storage, however, can result in sagging, stretching, and holes. You've spent hard-earned cash on those clothes, so knowing how to store them properly will only increase your return on investment in your wardrobe.

Preparing Your Clothes for Winter Storage

 

The condition of your clothes before you store them makes a difference, too. Putting your apparel away without washing or dry-cleaning can spell disaster. Even if you wore an item briefly without cleaning it, you could end up with a smelly piece of clothing when you go to retrieve it in the spring. 

Before packing any boxes, wash and dry your clothes thoroughly (or have them dry-cleaned if necessary). If you're worried about clothes-eating moths making a meal out of your spring and summer knits, put dried lavender in a breathable pouch with your clothes. You can also try cedar wood blocks, but don’t let the blocks actually touch your clothes. The oil in cedar wood can transfer to the fabric and become an everlasting part of that garment.

Mild scents you didn't even notice could become permanent after fermenting in storage over winter. The same goes for spots. You may be tempted to overlook a minor spill, but putting your garment away unwashed can turn a tiny discoloration into a nasty stain. Additionally, pests find sweat and other gross odors alluring, making a pre-storage wash vital.

How to Pack Clothes for Storage

 

Knowing how to store clothes may seem simple, but certain techniques can protect your wardrobe. Before we tell you how to store seasonal clothes, we'll start with what not to do:

  • Don't use wire hangers
  • Avoid the mold risk that comes with plastic dry-cleaning bags
  • Don't let cedar wood blocks or mothballs touch your clothing

Hanging delicate clothes is risky. Lessen the risk of dimples, creases, tears, or misshaping by using padded hangers. Consider investing in a garment rack for hanging delicate clothes that shouldn’t be folded. You can get a stylish one for your home to act as a piece of decor or an inexpensive, space-saving one if you plan to stash it away in your basement or a storage unit.

Carefully folding clean clothes and placing them in plastic containers away from sunlight and dampness is optimal. To save even more space, roll up your clothes after you've folded them. You'll be surprised at how many more pairs of shorts and T-shirts you can pack into a container!

Speaking of containers, choose to spend a little more cash on plastic bins. Many nearby retailers offer a variety of sizes, and these plastic bins slide easily under beds and into closets and stack neatly to help save space. If you have the choice between a plastic bin or a cardboard box, go the plastic route; not only will those plastic bins last for years to come, but cardboard boxes can make your clothing more susceptible to damage from moisture, mold, and bugs.

Where to Store Your Summer Clothes

 

Basements, garages, and attics can seem like good options. They're out of the way yet within easy reach. But basements and garages can be damp, making them breeding grounds for mildew and mold. 

Sunlight exposure and moisture are common hazards in attics. If you can, use a guest room closet or reserve a storage unit near your home. Alternatively, climate-controlled units offer the ultimate protection with temperature and moisture control. 

Once you've found the right option for you, follow these tips for proper storage:

  • Choose same-sized containers
  • Place heavier containers on the bottom
  • Put off-season and seldom-used items in the back, leaving room for an aisle

Label each container to make retrieving your swimsuits, tees, tanks, and shorts easier next spring.

Free Up Space for Your Fall Wardrobe with Safeguard

The return of fall means a new opportunity to streamline organizing your belongings. As you prepare to clean and pack your things, set aside anything you don't love or haven't worn for a year; some minimalists even toss anything they haven't worn for six months. While we recommend the tearing-off-the-bandage method, giving yourself a one-day decision deadline may make parting with those once-loved items easier.

Now that you know how to store seasonal clothes the way experts do, you’ll need the perfect place to protect your off-season clothes and other belongings and free up space in your home. 

Safeguard Self Storage offers secure, conveniently located units in several Chicagoland locations. Contact us for assistance, or reserve a unit online today.

Moving Away to College 101: Packing Tips for New Jersey Students

A smiling young woman labeling packed boxes for college.

Heading off to college is exciting, but you have a lot of items on your to-do list. From buying textbooks to registering for classes, you're going to be pretty busy between now and the first day of school. Since no one is born knowing how to pack for college, you'll be glad to learn it isn't that difficult—as long as you don't procrastinate.

Be Transparent


We can't say enough good things about clear plastic bags. From the zippered variety to the vacuum-sealed type, these bags make it easy to keep track of toiletries and bulky hoodies alike. And in a tiny space like your dorm room, you can skip the dresser and fill floating shelves or the area under your bed to save valuable square footage. They also simplify the process of loading your things into your dorm or storage unit.

How to Pack for College Dorm Closets


You may think you'll need your entire wardrobe, but you'll be surprised at how few items you actually wear. Consider packing only these basics:

  • Two or three pairs of jeans
  • A few t-shirts or casual knit tops
  • A couple of hoodies and warm sweaters
  • A convertible jacket
  • An outfit for interviews
  • Something formal if you think you'll need it

Save closet or shoe rack space by investing in a pair of dark sneakers that can double as business-casual shoes. Bring only two weeks' worth of socks and underwear or buy a whole new batch when you get to school. Roll your clothes and pack them in tightly to maximize space both before and after moving in. Be sure to carve out space for rain gear and your backpack. Hooks are your best friend!

Downsize, Downsize, Downsize


Limited space makes downsizing your belongings a must. When considering how to pack for college, remember that you'll probably have even less space than you anticipate. Skip anything that isn't a necessity; you can always bring more of your things from home on your first break. Check with your school's housing and residential life department to see what items come with your dorm room.

Sometimes a desk or mini refrigerator is included so you don't have to lug these bulky items onto campus. Consider buying organizers for your desk, toiletries and snacks or cooking supplies. If it can't fit in the organizer, it doesn't come with you.

Move-In Day


Pick up several uniformly sized cardboard boxes for your move. Cardboard boxes are sturdy and roomy and can be broken down and stored for re-use later. Only re-use boxes that are in good condition. Clearly mark the front of each box with its contents. After all, it’s best to list every single item so you're not left scrambling to find your toothbrush or electric kettle for late-night ramen. 

If you'd rather just buy new moving supplies later, many storage facilities sell everything you need. Clear storage bins make great alternatives to boxes! Plus, you can buy stick-on labels to organize them. As a bonus, you can re-use them for storage in your dorm. Keep it all under control by creating an inventory list. Just jot everything down, or search for a Word or Excel template you can print out.

Reserve a Self-Storage Unit


Keeping some of your things off-site in a storage unit gives you more space in your dorm room or apartment. Here are some items you can place in storage to give you a little breathing room:

  • Sports equipment
  • Old textbooks or reference books
  • Other things you need—but not right now

Keep seasonal items at home if you can make it back for breaks. If not, put off-season clothes, decor, and equipment in storage until you need it. Safeguard Self Storage offers convenient, secure storage at several locations in New Jersey. Reserve a unit online to take advantage of our web-only specials!

Ideas for Empty Nesters’ Extra Bedrooms in New Orleans

An older couple high-fiving each other as they celebrate becoming empty nesters.

Now that your kids aren't kids anymore, you have some extra space available in your home. While you miss them, having an empty bedroom or two at your disposal gives you the chance to indulge in a hobby, entertain out-of-town guests more often, or just enjoy a space that's all yours. Here are some of our ideas for what to do with your extra bedroom.

Craft a Hobby Room


Whether you're into crafting, painting, collecting stamps, or restoring old clocks, you'll appreciate having a place dedicated to your hobby. Most hobbies require only a modest investment to turn an empty bedroom into a studio. However, if you have the budget, by all means, enlist the aid of a professional team to install cabinets or equipment. The only caveat is to avoid going crazy with the custom installations if you plan to sell your home anytime soon.

Beat a Retreat


If 2020 taught us anything, it's that a little breathing room can be a good thing. That's why a "cave" is one of our favorite extra bedroom ideas. Whether it's a man cave or a mom cave—or, if you're lucky, one of each—having your very own oasis is a dream for many of us. Customize your space with the following options:

  • Reading nook
  • TV or gaming area
  • Coffee, wine, or traditional bar


Half the fun of a cave room is decorating, and plenty of retailers cater to customers with man caves and she-sheds. Even online resellers target this market with funny signs, themed decor, and the coolest accessories imaginable.

Surrender to Pure Relaxation


Remember the hygge craze from a few years ago? Hygge, a Danish word, roughly translates to “coziness.” The trend was so popular because we all crave that feeling of contentment that comes with being in soft surroundings, preferably in our own homes.

While you don't have to buy hot chocolate in bulk or knit an insanely chunky throw, it's never a bad idea to design a refuge that's drenched in softness. These tips will help you transform an empty bedroom into a “soft zone”:

  • Install a dimmer switch
  • Fill the room with candles
  • Invest in a cashmere throw blanket
  • Stick with soft, easy-on-the-eyes colors
  • Top a daybed or window seat with dozens of cushy throw pillows


The possibilities are endless! Just think soft and comfy. So, grab a drink from the hot beverage bar, slide into your fluffiest robe and slippers, and sink into a cozy chair in front of the faux fireplace with your favorite book.

Create a Multipurpose Guest Room


Maybe you invite the occasional guest for the weekend but still crave a little space to call your own. Good news! You can have your guest bedroom and use it, too.

Whether you have a Murphy Bed installed or put a daybed in a corner, the only consideration is ensuring that you have the space and resources to render the room guest-friendly. That might simply mean stashing supplies and equipment to convert your new gift-wrapping or exercise room back to a bedroom, if only temporarily.

Hold onto Your Extra Room’s Contents with Safeguard Self Storage 

 

We hope these extra bedroom ideas inspire you to optimize your home now that your kids have left the nest. Sometimes, however, giving their old bedrooms a makeover leaves you with the dilemma of finding a place for keepsakes. Our Erato Street facility in New Orleans has all the amenities you need to safely store old toys, furniture, and clothing so you can make the most of being an empty-nester.

If clutter is preventing you from building the room of your dreams, reserve a unit online with Safeguard Self Storage today.

Your Essential Guide to Living in Largo, FL

An illustration of the Largo, FL, welcome sign.

For many people, the option of working remotely has opened the door to moving farther from their jobs (either seasonally or for good). Whether you’re ready to hang up your snow shovel permanently or you simply want a change of scenery, choose Largo, FL, as your new home or seasonal hideaway. 

Located in Pinellas County, Largo offers the best of both urban and suburban lifestyles. From a wide variety of local restaurants and spacious parks to its proximity to the larger city of St. Petersburg, this town of approximately 84,000 residents is perfect for retirees and young professionals alike. Discover more about this Floridian gem with Safeguard Self Storage! 

The History of Largo, FL

Originally inhabited by the Tocobaga tribe, the Largo area was settled and claimed by multiple countries throughout the course of several centuries before being incorporated as a town in 1905. Five years later, the community experienced a population boom of 500% between 1910 and 1930. 

The town’s agricultural economy depended on citrus groves, hog farms, and cattle ranches. In fact, its time as a center for citrus packing, canning, and shipping earned Largo the nickname “Citrus City.” 

The Largo of Today 

Following World War II, Largo experienced an even larger population increase, transforming the agricultural community into a bustling suburban area with extensive neighborhoods and shopping centers. Now, more than a century after its incorporation, Largo has become a well-established bedroom community. 

While many of its residents are retired, working members of the Largo community can enjoy an easy commute to the larger cities of Clearwater and St. Petersburg. The industries with the most job growth in Largo include healthcare, law enforcement, and retail. Learn more about Largo’s cost of living, neighborhoods, and more below. 

Largo Cost of Living 

With an overall cost of living index of 96 (with the highest score being 100, it’s no surprise Largo has been rated as one of the best places to retire in the United States. While Largo’s older population has contributed to a slightly higher cost of living index for healthcare, its low costs for housing and transportation make it a more affordable option than larger nearby cities.  The median value of a Largo home is $263,992, and the average monthly cost of rent falls around $1,400.

Largo’s Neighborhoods 

An illustration of a mid-century modern home in one of Largo, FL's neighborhoods.

As a community with more than a century of history, Largo features a wide variety of dwelling styles, from modest mid-century modern homes to coastal contemporary condominiums. Some of the area’s most prominent neighborhoods include:

  • Belle Oak Villas
  • Fairway Village
  • Palm Hill
  • Paradise
  • Walsingham Heights
  • Water View Estates
  • Town & Country

When choosing a future area in Largo to call home, you should take community amenities into consideration. Belle Oak Villas, for example, features two private pools for residents to enjoy. Additionally, the neighborhood is just down the road from several shops and services, including The Haus Coffee Shop, Bro’s Pizzeria & Bar, and more.

Alternatively, Fairway Village offers a private golf course for its residents. Even if golf isn’t your cup of tea, the community is a short drive to Belcher Soccer Complex. 

Prefer being near the great outdoors? When you move to Walsingham Heights, you’ll enjoy being around the corner from the Florida Botanical Gardens and Walsingham Park. Unplug, unwind, and relax with a nature walk or picnic!

Depending on which community you live in, your home may fall under one of five Largo ZIP codes:

  • 33770
  • 33771
  • 33773
  • 33774
  • 33778

Education

The Pinellas County Schools (PCS) district’s administrative headquarters is located in Largo. PCS serves more than 104,000 students in the Pinellas County area through 140 schools and centers. Largo is home to several of these schools, including:

  • Fuguitt Elementary School
  • Mildred Helms Elementary School
  • Largo High School
  • Pinellas Park High School
  • Pinellas Preparatory Academy
  • Plato Academy Largo
  • Plato Academy Seminole
  • Ridgecrest Elementary School
  • Walsingham Elementary School

In addition to primary and secondary schools, Schiller International University’s campus is also located in Largo. The private, for-profit university was established in 1964 as a program designed for American students studying abroad in West Germany.

Transportation

While walking to convenience shops or nature trails is fairly easy in Largo, the town is still relatively car-dependent. You can also take advantage of Largo’s public transportation system, the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA). Feel like getting a workout while you explore the community? There are extensive bike trails throughout the area you can enjoy.

Things to Do Around Largo

 An illustration of the Largo, FL, Public Library.

 There’s never a shortage of things to do in or nearby Largo. Have some little ones who need to burn off energy? Take them out for a day of fun and sun at the Splash Harbour Water Park in neighboring Indian Rocks Beach, or bounce down to Clearwater’s Sky Zone trampoline park.

For some slower-paced activities, you can always stroll the paths around McGough Nature Park or comb through Largo Public Library’s endless treasure trove of books. You can also take a look at the library’s calendar for fun activities, classes, and more.

Want to connect with your neighbors? The Largo Community Center is brimming with opportunities to meet new friends through special events, programs, and chances to volunteer. Older residents can also enjoy social clubs, trips, and afternoon games of bingo.

Other things to enjoy in Largo, FL, include:

After burning off energy exploring the town, reward yourself with some local Largo fare. Grab a bite at Roosterfish Grill, go outside your comfort zone with some tastes of Thailand at Veggie Thai Cafe, or beat the heat with an ice cream cone from Twistee Treat Largo.

Make Space for Your New Life in Largo, FL, with Safeguard Self Storage

Storage professionals helping an older couple move boxes into their storage unit.

Whether you’re a longtime Largo resident downsizing for retirement or you need a secure place to store all your belongings while you finalize the sale of your old house, convenient storage can be hard to come by during any transition.

With Safeguard Self Storage on Walsingham Road in Largo, you can make your move easier with an affordable, accessible storage unit. Our state-of-the-art storage facility provides a wide variety of unit sizes for all kinds of needs, from a 5x5 unit to keep your golf gear tucked away to a 12x45 outdoor parking space for your car, boat, or RV.

Additionally, while you may enjoy Largo’s balmy weather, your wooden furniture, vinyl records, and other temperature- and humidity-sensitive items don’t. Minimize the chance of your belongings warping, cracking, or melting in the Florida heat with one of Safeguard’s climate-controlled units! Other convenient features we offer include:

Chat with our storage experts on Walsingham Road in person, or rent or reserve your unit online today to take advantage of web-only discounts and special offers!